TIP OF THE MONTH - November 2014


Source: Rent Net-A Cendant Company

Surprisingly, many renters simply don’t know how to be good tenants and stay in the landlord’s good graces.

A successful landlord-tenant relationship starts with communication, goodwill and respect on both sides.  Beyond those basics, here are some tips, suggestions and words of advice for tenants.

Pay your rent on time.  This point may seem self-evident, but managers say some tenants don’t seem to understand the connection between on-time rent payments and the owner’s ability to manage the property.  Part of the rent is profit for the owner, but much of the money is spent on repairs, maintenance, landscaping, services, taxes, insurance, security and other necessary expenses of operating the building.

Be patient about non-emergency repairs.  If your heating system malfunctions in the dead of Winter, that’s an emergency and it should be repaired right away.  However, many other types of repairs are minor annoyances that are not life-threatening. Give your landlord some slack in getting things fixed (a few days might be reasonable), especially if parts are needed to complete the repairs.

Get permission for a do-it-yourself repairs.  Making minor repairs on your own may seem helpful, but some managers frown on these efforts.  “We prefer that people do not because in many cases their repairs are not up to the standards that we accept or they may make the problem worse.  Even a simple repair like a flapper valve on a toilet because he or she could easily damage the whole mechanism.  Then we would have to go in and clean up the flood.”
(First Capital Property Group)

Be a considerate neighbor.  Most lease agreements provide for residents to have a quiet enjoyment of their individual apartment unit.  Residents who interfere with their neighbor’s quiet enjoyment create trouble and aggravation for the manager. “We try to provide an environment where the tenants are not disturbing other tenants with noisy parties, loud radios or generally obnoxious behavior.” (First Captial Property Group)

Read your lease agreement.  A signed lease agreement is not just a piece of paper.  It is actually a legal document.  For example, if the agreement has a 12-month term, the management generally can not increase your rent before the end of that period.  Conversely, you are obligated to pay the agreed-upon rent for the entire 12 months, even if you decide to move out during that time. Both the landlord and the tenant are bound to the terms and conditions of the lease agreement.

Most tenant want to be on good terms with the people who own and manage the building they call home.  Having a good relationship increases your stature as a valued tenant, and it means your needs, concerns and legitimate complains will be met with all due attention and action on the part of the manager.

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This web page was updated on 11/02/2014.